Dealing with cold hands

GregHBGregHB New YorkNew
edited May 2009 in Technique Posts: 47
Hey Everybody. Don't know if this happens to anybody else, but playing in colder temperatures... not Antarctic temperatures but even a slight drop in temperature, inside or outside, results in something like a 30 to 50 percent loss of technical facility for me. Now I've seen footage of people playing outside in what seems like winter weather playing just fine and I just don't get it. Is there some trick to playing in these situations? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks a bunch.


  • dennisdennis Montreal, QuebecModerator
    Posts: 2,105
    i've always told people that whenever you pick up the guitar for the first time, you always play at 60percent of your true technical level.... in the cold weather, you probably play at 30-40 percent.....

    the secret is to raise your hundred percent level as high as possible so that anything less seems acceptable/decent...

    have you ever noticed that after having played for an hour or two, your technique seems so much better than it was when you started playing??
  • GregHBGregHB New YorkNew
    Posts: 47
    Totally! I try to slow down deliberately when playing for the first time in that day so as not to stumble all over the fretboard and get disheartened.

    So one must develop a reservoir of skill for these situations... I was afraid that was the answer!
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    I live in a climate that is BRUTALLY cold in for about 1/3 of the year ( minus 40c for months in the winter!!!) so what I do is soak my hands and arms in a sink with warm/hot water for a few minutes. It seems to loosen the muscles and it also has the added benifit of cleaning my hands of oils/gopher guts/boogers/dirt and stuff, which always helps me play better.
    The soak does really help though.
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • GregHBGregHB New YorkNew
    Posts: 47
    Thanks. I'll have to give that a try. Although I must say I have found that not washing off the gopher guts and bits of sheep's intestines that are usually on my hands all day, everyday, drastically improves my tone!
  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 431
    greg is working in willy b to get intestines on his hands!
    I always try to warm up a bit before going on for real- even if its only sound check . . . for five minutes. also, build you set lists smartly- dont put cherokee and such at the start!
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    I almost forgot...
    In the winter, when I'm going somewhere to play, I'll come in, have a coffee/cig, and BS with people while my guitar aclimatizes to it's new suroundings. A cold guitar can really be a bummer to play. It's also better for the instrument and even the strings then have time to settle. Far less tuning issues I find.
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • pinkgarypinkgary ✭✭✭
    Posts: 282
    Man, sometimes (not often) i'm glad i live in england......

    But then i think i missed out on all the gopher-slaying.

    Hey ho, swings & roundabouts...
  • BluesBop HarryBluesBop Harry Mexico city, MexicoVirtuoso
    Posts: 1,378
    I've found that wearing tennis wristbands helps warm up quicker and stay warm longer, don't know if there are any drawbacks to using them and I wouldn't use them always but they do work for me, worth a try.
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Those Gophers are a MENACE!!! :)
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Do the wristbands restrict your circulation at all Harry??
    Besides just cold weather, poor circulation can really inhibit your hands. Besides other obvious health problems, the less oxygenated blood cruising around your vascular system, the colder they'll feel, which can make flights of frailing falanges', that much harder.
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.047833 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes